A co-owner of a popular H Street sushi restaurant has been found dead, police said.
Joey Edward Belcher, 37, was found lying on the floor of an apartment in the 200 block of I Street, NE at about 3:30 p.m. Monday, according to D.C. police. His remains were taken to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy, and police are investigating as a death of unknown cause.
Belcher was co-owner of Sticky Rice DC, located at 1224 H St. NE. He was also a partner in the U Street-area restaurant 1905 and in Dangerously Delicious Pies on H Street.
"Everyone's still kind of in shock," said Victoria Milko, a bartender at Sticky Rice who has worked at the restaurant for four years.
Milko added that Belcher cared about his employees. He attended their parties, got them gifts and even once lent a car to one worker.
"He became more than a boss, definitely a friend for a lot of us," she said.
Sticky Rice does not yet have any events planned about Belcher in order to give his family time to grieve. The restaurant has held events to raise money for funeral expenses when employees have died unexpectedly in the past, Milko said, and a similar event may be held for Belcher's family in the future.